. . . in and around Park Slope

The colloquium venue — the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture (BSEC) is located in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. Here are a few locally sourced tips about where in the neighborhood you might like to grab a bite or a drink, or spend some leisure time. In general, 7th Ave, 5th Ave, and 4th Ave are awash with good places to eat and drink — it’s hard to go wrong. You’re also not far from the neighborhoods of Prospect Heights, Gowanus, and Windsor Terrace, each with its own delights. (Some of you will remember meeting in pre-COVID days at the Brooklyn Zen Center in Gowanus, just a mile down the slope from BSEC. Sadly the BZC closed during the pandemic and has not returned.)

Everything on this list is within walking distance of BSEC (except the things marked with an *). And of course you can always seek professional advice at YELP, TimeOut – Park Slope, or whatever digital concierge you prefer!


If you need just coffee (and pastry)  . . .

Great places for coffee, breakfast, and lunch — all within short walking distance . . . 

  • Brew Memories: (295 7th Ave) | Dumplings, noodles, bahn mi to eat, and bubble tea and coffee to drink
  • Cusp Crepe + Espresso Bar: (321 7th Ave [btwn 8th & 9th Sts]) | Good coffee, and delicious crepes and paninis
  • Couleur Cafe: (435 7th Ave) | Great pastries plus breakfast and lunch menus
  • Colson Patisserie: (374 9th Street [at 6th Ave]) | Mostly pastries, but oooh what pastries!
  • Lincoln Station: (409 Lincoln Place) | Great sandwiches and salads for lunch, plus good coffee
  • Muse Cafe + Tea: (497 6th Ave [at 12th St]) | Awesome salads and other light lunch fare, plus pastries and coffee
  • Pasta Louise Cafe: (804 8th Ave) | Homemade pasta, sandwiches, salads café style
  • Grand Canyon Diner: (179 7th Ave [btwn 1st & 2nd Sts]) | A classic diner with a bit of a Mexican twist 
  • Winner: (367 7th Ave [at 11th St]) | Award-winning pastries and cookies, and a great sandwich menu for lunch 
  • Winner in the Park | Prospect Park outpost of Winner Bakery (just above); a short stroll into the park across the street from BSEC
  • Jintana Thai Farmhouse: (344 7th Ave) | Delicious casual Thai food, with a full vegetarian/vegan menu 
  • Milk Bar: (204 6th Ave. [at Union St]) | Pleasant and interesting eggs and brunchy-type things, plus great salads, sandwiches and lunchy-type things
  • Simple Loaf Bakehouse: (310 5th Ave [btwn 2nd & 3rd Sts]) | Great pastries and breakfast and brunch menu
  • Un Posto Italiano: (206 Garfield Pl [at 7th Ave]) | Good coffee, pastry, fabulous light sandwiches on house- made ciabatta 
  • Electric Beets: (158 7th Ave) | Grab-and-go vegan deli 

For dining, with some class . . .

  • Al di la Tratoria: (248 5th Ave) | Upscale delicious Italian
  • Haenyeo: (239 5th Ave) | Delicious Korean 
  • Fausto: (348 Flatbush Ave) | Top-notch Italian-inspired food and drink
  • Terre: (341 5th Ave) | Hidden gem cozy Italian spot with an extensive wine list 
  • Benchmark: (339A 2nd St) | Intimate steakhouse with a spacious patio 
  • Palo Santo:  (652 Union St) | Pan-Latin food in a lovely space
  • Miriam: (79 5th Ave) | Fabulous Israeli food – dinner is great, but try brunch if you can – the shakshuka is amazing. 
  • Earthen Vegan: (226 7th Ave) | Vegan restaurant with a great wine and beer menu   
  • There are great restaurants all over the place — explore!

For dinner, but less ambitious, quirkier, or a bit grittier (in a good way) . . .

  • Kiku Asian Bistro: (163 5th Ave) | Affordable pan-Asian spot with great sushi
  • Miti Miti: (138 5th Ave) | Interesting Spanish & Latin American plates, sangria & cocktails in a colorful little space
  • Bogota: (141 5th Ave) | Pan-Latin spot with great cocktails. The arepas are amazing!
  • Calexico: (278 5th Ave) | Casual California-style Mexican food 
  • Pasta Louise Cafe: (804 8th Ave) | Homemade pasta (featuring different shapes each day of the week) in a relaxed setting
  • Noodle Lane: (230 7th Ave) | Simple and awesome Chinese food. Try the soup dumplings!
  • Burger Village: (222 7th Ave) | Great burgers – some interesting, some classics
  • Two Boots: (284 5th Ave) | Awesome pizza on a crunchy-but-chewy cornmeal crust. Extensive vegan menu (nearly all their pizzas have a vegan version)
  • Emmy Square Pizza: (315 5th Ave [at 3rd St]) | You guessed it — trendy pizza place
  • Dinosaur BBQ: (604 Union Street [btwn 4th & 3rd Aves]) | Barbecue chain serving Southern-style meats & draft brews in a retro setting 
  • Grab something at one of the bars, wine bars, or beer places listed below. Most bars in the neighborhood have a decent light food menu

I scream, you scream, we all scream . . .


  • St. Eve’s Cocktail Bar: (475 12th Street) | Excellent cocktails, small plates, and a great brownstone ambience 
  • Ginger’s Bar: (363 5th Ave) | One of the few remaining lesbian bars in NYC (and the US) – great vibes and accepting of all stripes
  • High Dive (243 5th Ave) | Fun bar with vintage vibes and a nice patio
  • Blueprint (196 5th Ave) | High-end lounge with interesting cocktails and small bites 
  • The Commissioner (247 5th Ave) | Bar serving cocktails & beer in an old-school setup with dart boards & a shuffleboard table.
  • Union Hall: (702 Union St.) | A bar/lounge with librarylike decor, plus 2 bocce courts & a basement performance space that features Brooklyn’s best comedy acts. 
  • Park Slope Ale House: (356 6th Ave) | Mellow neighborhood hangout for beer & pub food with outdoor seating & a pool table.
  • Strong Rope Brewery: (574 President St.) | A great taproom with hand-crafted ales
  • The Dram Shop: (339 9th St) | This bar has a lengthy list of beers and spirits, good burgers, plus pool tables and board games. 
  • Brookvin: (381 7th Ave) | Wine bar with cheese, charcuterie, and small plates
  • Bar Vinazo: (158 7th Avenue Brooklyn) | Wine bar and Spanish tapas


Places of interest in the area . . . 

  • Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza – an iconic building and a quiet place in the midst of the noisy city
  • Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – Open 8am-6pm Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday. The gardens are free on Saturdays from 10am-noon. // 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn Museum – Open 11am-6pm Wednesday- Sunday. // 990 Washington Ave., Brooklyn
  • Prospect Park – Brooklyn’s beautiful “central” park — right across the street from BSEC. Walks and more walks, and Winner in the Park
  • Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market – Fun Saturday farmer’s market at Grand Army Plaza, at the entrance to Prospect Park. Open 8am-4pm
  • Royal Palms Shuffleboard – Shuffleboard for hipsters! A giant shuffleboard and game playing space, featuring trendy cocktails at the bar and various snacks. // 514 Union St., Brooklyn
  • Canoeing on the Gowanus Canal – I kid you not. Take a self-guided canoe trip on the canal, Brooklyn’s coolest superfund site — canoes, life jackets, and minimal instruction provided free of charge (first come, first served). 1pm-5pm on Saturday
  • Swim in the Gowanus Canal – Now I’m kidding
  • Go for a bike ride – Hop on a Citi Bike and explore: Prospect Park (see above), Brooklyn Bridge Park (see below) — the city is your oyster
  • See a New York Liberty game at nearby Barclays Center – Brooklyn’s star-studded WNBA team
  • * Brooklyn Bridge Park – Check out Brooklyn’s waterfront and New York Harbor. A beautiful spot for a walk and to spend a few hours. But this one requires a cab, Uber or Lyft, Citi Bike, or the subway
  • * Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge – a time-honored NYC tradition; the best
  • * TimeOut Brooklyn – For more ideas

Local venues that feature live music . . .

Three’s Brewing, The Bell House, Soapbox Gallery, Barbes, Tambour, Bar LunÀtico, Bar Bayeux, The Owl Music Parlor. Some of these places have good food, too. Click the links to check out their calendars of events!

And then there’s Manhattan . . .

TimeOut New York – For all the latest info on things to do in New York’s second greatest borough